PARKERSBURG - Members of West Virginia University's community of students, faculty and staff attended the campus' annual 9-11 Memorial on Tuesday morning.
"The events of Sept. 11, 2001, changed the way we started looking at the things going on around us," said guest speaker Sgt. James Stout of the West Virginia State Police.
Stout told of his experience during the tragic events and how he had wanted to go to New York City to help.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Kelsy Harbin, left, and A.J. Richards, members of the Eastwood Volunteer Fire Department, bow their heads for a moment of silence Tuesday during the Sept. 11 candlelight vigil at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
"I knew it was going to be bad and I couldn't sit still and do nothing," he said. "It was hard to stay at home, but I was also needed here."
Loren Bell, WVU-P Student Government president, told her perspective of the tragedy as a then 9-year-old.
"One Sept. 11, America came together for a common purpose," Bell said. "I believe that this is an event, one day, that I will not forget."
College President Marie Foster Gnage told the crowd that the events more than a decade ago should have brought people closer together.
"Our remembrance must not be just about mourning those lost, but also to celebrate their lives," she said. "Let us thank our first responders who continue to serve and save us."
This year's ceremony focused on first-responders and especially the West Virginia State Police, due to the deaths of two state troopers, Marshall Bailey and Eric Workman, in the line of duty last month.
"I think what hurts me the most is knowing their lives were forfeit without reason," Stout said of Bailey and Workman. "We all know the dangers, but choose to do the (job) anyway."
To follow up on the program, after sundown in the courtyard, Student Engagement & Activities and the Student Government Association held a luminaria service.
All proceeds will go to benefit the families of the fallen troopers.
The program also included a ringing of the bell and moment of silence in honor of the fallen.